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With the help of two local businesses and several area churches, Owen County Primary School students recently collected enough soda pop can tabs to cover nearly 12 miles.
The project was the brainchild of OCPS first-grade students Hannah and Rachel Howard, Davis Smith and Lake Bastin.
The four students, known as “Primary Poppers,” participate in the school’s student technology leadership program.
The Primary Poppers have tracked the school’s collecting process with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, created videos and slideshows.
The pop tabs will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House in Lexington, where the parents of Hannah and Rachel Howard stayed after the sisters were first born in 2005.
Stephanie Howard, parent volunteer and mother to Hannah and Rachel Howard, said the family has collected pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House ever since the sisters were born.
The school received a visit from Ronald McDonald Friday, who talked with the students about how their pop tab collecting would benefit the Ronald McDonald House in Lexington.
The house takes the tabs to a local recycling center where the tabs are converted into cash. The money received from the tabs helps the house and its family emergency fund, to help its guests with unexpected expenses.
The house offers families a place to stay when their child is receiving specialized medical treatment, at little to no cost.
The students of OCPS collected 582 lbs. of pop tabs, with the help of the Sweet Owen Store and M&T Country Collectibles, as well as churches throughout the area.
The class that collected the most tabs was Gina Ayres’ class, which brought in 104 lbs.
The Primary Poppers competed in Owen County’s STLP competition in October, which included all four district schools. After winning locally, the group traveled to northern Kentucky in November and competed in a regional competition. The Owen County group took top honors there too.
The four students will compete in the state competition March 28, where they will be up against other students their age from across the state.
The Primary Poppers’ STLP instructor is Kathy Spaulding. Billie Smith and Lacy Bastin also serve as parent volunteers.